Cleaning out her dead grandmother's house and alone in rural North Carolina with her dog, Mouse uncovers family secrets and must confront a series of terrors. If she doesn't face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.
Stories within stories within stories: It's a conceit that could easily turn into a mess in lesser hands. But Kingfisher pulls off her complicated construction with both ease and charm. There's a wry, Southern-droll sense of humor underpinning The Twisted Ones, especially as Mouse—a book editor by trade—begins to deconstruct Cotgrave's text. It all unspools on the page, and it's a testament to Kingfisher's skill that an entire two chapters of literary examination and annotation are enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. Kingfisher's literary juggling act is more than just a show of effortless virtuosity ... Laden with cosmic fright, The Twisted Ones connects the foreboding of ancient folklore with the horrors of modern life. But it does so with a sharp, witty voice and a compelling first-person protagonist who finds herself precariously straddling worlds she never knew existed.
Told with a 'found book' frame and an intense first person narration, this folk horror novel...is as tightly twisted and menacing as the carvings [Mouse] finds in the woods. Readers will stand back in awe as it all unravels, slowly at first, and then with great and terrifying speed ... Kingfisher brings this brand of horror to a new generation, and the book will appeal to readers of Lovecraftian adaptations by Caitlin Keirnan, Matt Ruff, and Paul La Farge.
In a genre where film narratives are full of found footage, The Twisted Ones contains a generous helping of found manuscript. The Green Book is a book within a journal within the novel. The sheer volume of found manuscript begs patience of its reader by the middle of the novel, but once things start going bump in the night at the house, the thrills leave you wanting more ... a strong sense of place. Its wooded hills are very much a character ... Mouse is so modest, you can’t help loving her from the get-go, but what seals the deal is her love for Bongo ... If you’re looking for a horror novel that uses a rich, regional narrative voice, and a unique creature mythology to put a fresh spin on traditional gothic elements, this novel is for you.